In Case You Hadn’t Heard…

•April 2, 2009 • 12 Comments

… And Assuming That You Care.

Apparently, “A Memory of Light,” which was to be the last Wheel of Time novel, has been split into three. 

This would bother me except a) it means that I have a little longer to reread the series before concluding it (and technically I can read it 3 more times before concluding (if I want to)), b) the man hired to finish the series after RJ’s death gave very good reasons for the split, and c) it gives me a chance to find out if I like Sanderson’s writing.  

So that’s okay. 

On the other hand, I liked Jordan’s claims of making TOR find new printing methods for the monstrous volume he was going to write.

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Modes of Thought are Boy Bands

•March 20, 2009 • 2 Comments

Way back in December of 2007, my good friend Mr. W.S. recommended a book to me called “The Eyre Affair” by author Jasper Fforde.  At the time, I replied with something lame about what I was reading, but nothing more was said on the matter.  I did file the name in memory, though, as I’ve always respected my friend’s opinion about books (as he seems to respect mine).

Now, I know that haven’t talked about much lately, but I really have to talk about Jasper Fforde’s books. 

Maybe my miniscule audience already knows about him (in which case WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME???), but I don’t think you do. 

Last month, I was here at work and finished what I was reading.  Since I was in a library at the time, I thought I’d look around and see if anything caught my eye.  While browsing, I happened to spot “The Eyre Affair,” and my fuzzy mental processes reminded me that W had recommended the book. 

And I’m glad he did.

Set in an alternate steam-punk, sci-fi noir alternate Earth where literature is of such great significance that there is a huge criminal underground based around the illegal buying, selling, and forging of classic literature, the book tells the story of one Thursday Next, the Literatec daughter of a rogue ChronoGuard agent, who must stop the evil Acheron Hades from destroying great texts by kidnapping and killing characters. 

You would get most of that information off the back cover of this first Thursday Next book.

Fforde has an easy style that hides the erudition of some of his ideas.  He seems to have a great fondness for literature, and his interaction with it is as respectful as it is irreverent.  He also has a way with non sequiturs.  He is most reminiscent, to my mind, of the great Terry Pratchett (whose cover blurb facetiously suggests that he considers Fforde a threat). 

Fforde’s meta-fictional tendencies are, arguably, my favorite part of his work, as he seems to delve into areas explored (less-amusingly) by Grant Morrison.  In the Thursday Next books, we find characters in a novel who literally enter into novels and poems  to both commit and solve crimes.  In the second Thursday Next book, the protagonist believes she is hearing voices as she is communicated with via footnotes, which other characters cannot hear.  In the Nursery Crimes series, we, the audience, are at one point told to accept a piece of information about the book’s mystery, while earlier in the book, the protagonist gets through a particular challenge when he realizes that his opponent is filling the archetypal role of threshold guardian. 

It is in these moments of metafiction that the nature of reality, and our place in it, is called in to question. 

To date, I have read only 3 of Fforde’s 7 novels, and I am working on a fourth.   

As I think you can tell, I highly recommend Fforde to my fiction exploring allies.

Reminiscing about Rowdy

•February 12, 2009 • 1 Comment

The first member of my wife’s family to accept me was Rowdy.  The cute chow was already 11 at the time.

I went over to what was to become my in-law’s house and met Amanda’s mother, sister, grandmother, and dog.  I was invited in and on my best behaviour.  I sat down in the living room and held out my hand to the family dog.   Rowdy, the family’s chow, came over and sniffed my hand.  She moved a little closer to smell me, and I was soon scratching her between the ears. 

The family was dumbfounded.  They watched in amazement as she let me pet her. 

Apparently, Rowdy didn’t like boys.  As I understand it, Rowdy was extremely skittish around all men, and it was virtually unheard of for her to let a total stranger pet her.  Apparently, she absolutely hated my wife’s ex. 

But Rowdy liked me, and, I think, the family liked me, too. 

Since then, I have married the elder daughter from the household.  I have lived in the house for months at a time as we were between apartments, jobs, or semesters.  I have completed a BA, lived in Japan, and come back to the city of my youth. 

I have taken Rowdy for walks and fed her treats.  I’ve cleaned up after her and been woken up at 5 am to take her outside.  She’s gone searching the house hearing our voices from a computer.  She’s licked hands and faces and feet. 

I never had a dog, so Rowdy is the closest I’ve had to a large pet. 

And now she is gone. 

I only knew her for a short part of her 16 years, but I will not forget the first in-law to like me.

Courtesy of Amanda

•February 5, 2009 • 2 Comments

Well, now we know the answer. 

If anyone wants to remake one of the classic*, horror*, masterpieces* of the 20th century, we now know who will play the key figure.  We know who will be the one character that you truly care about in the brilliant* example of its genre: “Manos :” Hands of Fate

The Man, The Myth, The Legend

The Man, The Myth, The Legend

Continue reading ‘Courtesy of Amanda’

In Memoriam: Patrick McGoohan

•January 14, 2009 • 8 Comments

The actor who boldly shouted that he was a man, not a number, died yesterday.

He was 80 years old. 

He turned down the role of James Bond before Connery was offered it simply because he didn’t like the character’s attitudes to violence and women.

I first encountered the man best known as Number Six during a marathon of The Prisoner on PBS many years ago. 

I fell in love with the show and sat glued to the screen until late into the night.

Since then, I have watched the series several times, and I’ve enjoyed his work in other roles (Columbo comes to mind).

I cannot say too much about McGoohan, the man.  I never met him; I haven’t read much about him.  As I understand it, he avoided being in the public eye when he wasn’t acting. 

That said, The Prisoner stands as an interesting commentary on his views about life and society. 

“I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, or numbered.  My life is my own.”

Be Inspired, DAMMIT!

•December 11, 2008 • 3 Comments

I know I am. 

Enjoy.

Quick note: I found this via Overthinkingit.com before it was a front page link on the IMDB.

What are you doing here?

•October 5, 2008 • 4 Comments

And now, thanks to this video that I’m hoping you haven’t seen elsewhere, a summary of 32 seasons of Doctor Who.

This post’s title (or some variation thereof) is what we arrive at.